Convinced of the urgency to take action against climate change, a group of Dutch Multinationals - FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever, all members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) – joined forces with AP Møller – Maersk to run a biofuel pilot in March 2019. The container vessel Mette Maersk, one of the largest containers in the world, sailed on a blend with 20% biofuel from used cooking oil. This was the first time for such a high blend percentage on an ocean container vessel on this scale.
Next to sailing on the 20% blend, the Mette Maersk also sailed on a 7% blend, which in total leads for this round-trip to a reduction of the CO2 emissions with 1500 tons and of sulphur emissions with 20 tons. This is equivalent to yearly emissions of over 200 households or the equivalent of 12 million car kilometres (300 times around the world). Shell supplied the new fuel blend, for which it did extensive testing in its laboratories.
The pilot is a great success, say Jan Peter Balkenende, chairman of the DSGC: “This shows that a strong cooperation between shippers, shipping companies and fuel suppliers leads to faster innovation to get understanding and acceptance of new applications. Together, Maersk and Shell will investigate other applications for biofuel for ocean shipping.”
Maersk will continue to test and validate the use of biofuels for marine application, while progressing the development for other low-carbon solutions. Shell will continue to research and develop second generation biofuels based on various waste streams. The members of the DSGC who distribute their products globally via ocean shipping, will investigate how they can further stimulate these developments. In addition, they will generate attention for the urgency and the opportunities in relevant international networks and platforms, such as the Clean Cargo Working Group and the BICEPS Network.